Stila In The Light Palette wasn't particularly calling my name when I first saw it in store – I literally walked by it and thought nothing of it until I saw one of my favorite YouTube gurus (I still chuckle every time calling someone a guru… but since everyone's doing it, I might as well!) who I have been following for a while, who has the same skin tone and eye shape using it and raving about it, then I knew I had to at least give it a try. It worked for her, it should work for me too, right? ;D
Well, this may explain why I looked past the palette in the first place. Nothing stands out for the packaging. It's a plain slightly pinkish brown cardboard case with the name and little stars printed in rose gold. I love stars, yes, I love rose gold, yes, I love pinkish brown color, yes, but somehow the combination of them just does not work for me here. It is nice that there's a nice mirror inside and the lid shuts close with a magnet but the palette feels fragile. I think you have to be really gentle with this one if you are planning to take it along for travel.
The set also comes with a full-sized Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Damsel which is a matte dark brown color and a how-to booklet that explains step-by-step on how to achieve different looks (total 6 looks). I'm not gonna lie, it comes in pretty handy especially on one of those days when you are out of ideas!
Superficial things aside, upon opening the lid to reveal what's inside, I was wowed! See, there are a lot of neutral eye shadow palettes out there that have colors you won't often use but this one I can really see myself using all of them (and I have!). The palette contains 10 beautiful neutral eye shadows arranged into 2 rows of 5. There are 6 shimmery and 4 matte shades, all of them wearable, warm-toned colors (with the exception of a few shades that are cool-toned). It also includes Stila's cult favorite Kitten which is a gorgeous champagne shade with a slight hint of pink.
While they seem to be pretty decent colors, there definitely is variation in terms of texture and color payoff between them. The shimmery shades (Kitten, Sunset, Bubbly, Gilded Gold, Luster, and Night Sky) are essentially more pigmented and apply better than the matte shades (Bare, Bliss, Sandstone, and Ebony), specifically Sandstone and Ebony – they are undoubtedly soft but they are also a little dry and chalky making them a little more difficult to apply and blend. The sheerer pigmentation of the darker shades can be thought of as a good thing though since you don't have to be too careful depositing the color and you can always build up the intensity to what you like as you go. So, as long as it's buildable and blendable, I'm good.
Now for the shimmery shades, wow, they are crazy pigmented and soft! They are so soft that you have to be a little gentle dipping your brush in the pan or it can crumble especially for Kitten and Bubbly. I almost think these two could pass for a metallic finish because they give out a much stronger light-reflecting sheen than the other shimmery shades. They also apply and blend wonderfully without too much fallout.
The longevity also differs between the shimmery and matte shades. When applied over a primer, the shimmery shades stay on my lids and remain vibrant throughout the day without any signs of fading or creasing. The matte shades, on the other hand, not so much. They start to fade after 3-4 hours on me and everything almost disappeared by the end of the evening which is quite unexpected to tell you the truth. I thought, if anything, they were going to last longer than any of the colors! So, definitely pack on a little more than you need in the beginning or better, apply it wet. Stila said that all colors can be worn wet or dry and I find that when worn wet, the intensity increases dramatically especially for the matte shades.
Finally, let's talk about the awesome Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner! Damsel is a very wearable shade of dark brown and I think it goes well with any eye look you create with the colors in the palette. It glides on very easily without a tug. It is truly waterproof and it truly stays on the lid once it sets which it does rather quickly so if you need to smudge it out, do so quickly before it sets. If there's one thing I'm not crazy about the liner, it is the fact that it comes in a retractable form without a sharpener, and you know I like my eyeliner pointy sharp! The fine tip is going to become dull over time but you can probably pinch it a little bit to make it sharp. Another thing is, once you twist it up, you can't twist it back down, so definitely twist up just enough for what you need!
Obviously there are countless numbers of looks you can create with this palette. There is a color for every job, for example, Bare for all-over eyelid, Kitten/Bubby for inner corners, Bliss for crease/transition, Sandstone/Ebony for outer corners. I never thought I'd love the purple-y gray of Night Sky but it turns out to be a beautiful shade on my lids so I'm really happy with it. I like to pair it with Sunset in the crease and Ebony for the outer corners.
All in all, a decent neutral eye palette with a good color range to take you from subtle day time look to a sultry smokey eye. It has everything you need, even a liner! You can even complete a matte eye look with the four matte shades availabe in the palette! The pan sizes are pretty generous too and for the price, I think you get more than your money's worth. I am actually really loving this palette and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. :)